Movie Review by Russell Pinkston
An ex Confederate soldier on the run from the Union Army headed by Colonel Powell (Bryan Cranston) and Indians John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) hides in a cave. The Colonel pursues him inside. They encounter a strange man who John is forced to shoot. John finds a necklace and medallion on the guy and while he is looking at it the dying stranger utters some words. The words transports the one who is holding the medallion (John) to the planet of Barsoom (Mars to us human folk). Not only can he breath the planet’s air but since it has lower gravity than earth he able to jump long distances and has unbelievable strength. He is capture by one of the Martians, Tars Tarkas (voiced by Willem Dafoe) but eventually befriends them. In the meantime Sab Than (Dominic West) is given a powerful weapon by the Therns in order to destroy all his enemies. He sets his sites on Helium. The leader of the Therns (Mark Strong), a sort of Devil on his shoulder character who tells him what he should do. He suggests a cease fire if the Princess of Hellium (Lynn Collins) will marry him. John Carter tries to save her and Hellium.
John Carter is based on a series of Edgar Rice Burroughs books.
Taylor Kitsch is best known for tv’s Friday Night Lights plays the title character. He has only done a handful of feature films (he was Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) but stars in 3 this year (Battleship and Savages). Mark Strong and Bryan Cranston are probably the films most recognizable stars. Mark Strong was in 3 of my top 10 movies in 2010 (and in 1 of my worst in 2011, Green Lantern). Bryan Cranston, the Emmy winning star of Breaking Bad seems to be everywhere today (Drive, The Lincoln Lawyer, Contagion, Red Tails). But Lynn Collins (who was also X-Men Origins: Wolverine) is by far the best looking of all the cast. I have never wanted to be a necklace so bad before in my life. John Carter is directed by Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E). This is Andrew’s first live action film…a trend that seems to be popular now, his Pixar peer, Brad Bird (Mission Impossible: Ghost Prodical) did it last year.
While this film wasn’t bad it wasn’t the epic I expected by Walt Disney and from the $250 million dollar budget (the same as Avatar). I wasn’t a fan of the main actor (Taylor Kitsch), I thought he was kind of flat and not that interesting. Mark Strong was his usual bad guy self. I hope to see alot more of Lynn Collins in the future (in the movies and in my real life 🙂 She played a strong character and was the only character that showed any depth. I don’t really think John Carter is a movie that has to be seen in theaters, the 3D wasn’t very impressive so I say WAIT FOR DVD or BLU RAY.